Volume 2 These Records Are True

• August 29, 2013

Book of Mormon CommentaryThe second book in the series entitled These Records are True is 532 pages ad covers the books of Jacob, Enos, Jarom, Omni, Words of Mormon and Mosiah.

King Benjamin bore testimony to his sons that the plates of brass, that had been brought from Jerusalem and preserved by the hand of God, were true. He also bore testimony of the plates of Nephi, which contains the records of their fathers since they left Jerusalem were true. This volume of the Book of Mormon Commentary Series covers the time period from the death of Nephi (544 BC) to the death of Alma the elder and King Mosiah. (91 BC) – a period of over 450 years. It covers the words of the prophets from Jacob, brother of Nephi, through Alma, who organized the church at the Waters of Mormon. The first part of this work is taken from the small plates of Nephi, Jacob through Omni, that Mormon found as he began the abridgement of the large plates of Nephi. As he joined his work with the small plates, he wrote a brief historical summary to bridge the gap between the two records: the words of Mormon. Thus the title of this volume which includes a combination of these accounts, was adopted from King Benjamin, “These Records Are True”.

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The following is the introduction to These Records are True.



Fifty-five years after Lehi and his party left Jerusalem under the
direction of the Lord (about 544 B.C.), Nephi, the son of Lehi and
keeper of the small plates of Nephi, turned over the responsibility of
the sacred record to his younger brother Jacob (see Jacob 1:1).1 He
instructed Jacob on what he should write upon the plates. It is safe to
assume that Jacob considered his instructions as commandments from
the Lord as Nephi was the prophet, ruler and teacher of his people.
Such commandments are important aids to us today in understanding
the role of the Book of Mormon in our lives and in determining what
emphasis we should place upon our study of it.
Nephi commanded that Jacob “write upon these plates a few of
the things which [he] considered to be most precious; that [he] should
not touch, save it were lightly, concerning the history of this people
which are called the people of Nephi” (Jacob 1:2). This light touch
of history is not to be interpreted as a declaration that history is
unimportant. The Nephite history was to be kept upon another set of
plates. Jacob and his posterity were commanded to keep, upon the
small plates, the more precious happenings, or what may be termed
the spiritual history of the people (see Jacob 1:3; 3:13).
Jacob’s people had many revelations, and the spirit of much
prophecy from which to select the contents of the smaller plates.
Because of “faith and great anxiety, it truly had been made manifest”
to Jacob and others those things that were to happen to their people
(Jacob 1:5). They “knew of Christ and his kingdom, which should
come” (Jacob 1:6) and could select those revelations and prophecies
that would be most applicable in the day that the Book of Mormon
would come forth. Jacob wrote that although it was difficult to
engrave upon the plates, he knew his writings would be permanent
and he was concerned for his children and his brethren of future
generations (see Jacob 4:1–2).
As he was about to die, Jacob turned over the keeping of the
records to his son Enos (Jacob 7:27). The records kept by Jacob and
Enos make up twenty-one pages in our current edition, covering just
four specific incidents. Their writings show that they followed
Nephi’s admonition not to engrave history upon the small plates. The
books of Jarom and Omni cover 290 years in four and a half pages.
They both speak to just one central theme, “Inasmuch as ye will not
keep [the Lord’s] commandments ye shall not prosper in the land”
(Omni 1:6). This certainly is not history.
If the Book of Mormon is not a history of people in the Americas,
what is it? The Lord calls it “a record of a fallen people, and the
fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews
also” (D&C 20:9). A record is an official written document, not a
systematic narrative account or story. So what we have in the small
plates of Nephi is an official document from the Lord, a record given
to us so we might know how we must live in order to prosper in the
land of promise, the Americas.
After Mormon wrote the Words of Mormon to bridge the gap
between the smaller plates of Nephi and the large plates that gave “a
full account of the history of [Nephi’s] people (1 Nephi 9:2), he
abridged the book of Mosiah, which is also included in this volume.

The book of Mosiah begins when King Benjamin is an old man, and
the first six chapters record his last instructions to his people immediately
prior to appointing his son Mosiah to succeed him as king (124
B.C.). It covers about forty years to 90 B.C., including an estimate of
the period of King Benjamin’s last years.
A more detailed account of Nephite events are given in Mosiah,
even though it is an abridgment. This is probably because the time
period prior to the birth of Christ (covered in the book of Mosiah)
somewhat parallels the time period of the restoration of the gospel
prior to the Second Coming of Christ. Mormon stops periodically to
write to the modern reader. He addresses them with such phrases as
“thus we see” and “I will show unto you” similar to Nephi’s style of
writing to the reader. A more detailed explanation of these precepts
given by the record keepers is given in the introduction of volume one
of this work. Also these precepts are identified in the various chapters
that follow.

Individual copies of Book two are Sold Out!


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Category: Volume 2